John Fennelly, Lead Writer
Training camp begins tomorrow for the Giants as all players are due in for physicals and conditioning drills. The first practice will be held on Tuesday at 1:20pm.
With the hour quickly approaching, Giant fans are more curious than excited. What will the team look like after all the changes they’ve made this offseason?
There is a new offense with a revamped offensive line, new, durable running backs, an exciting new WR and a platoon of mediocrity at TE. There is an influx of talent on defense, especially at CB. The special teams imported some top returners this past winter as well.
There is change in the air, with Tom Coughlin still sitting atop the org chart, but new people will be charged with making the decisions on offense, beginning with first-time OC Ben McAdoo, who blew the Giants away with his plan to fix their “broken” offense.
So, who will we be focusing on this summer out at QDTC? Here’s my top five:
OC Ben McAdoo – Kevin Gilbride may have had two Super Bowl rings, but his offense had gotten stale over the past several years. Not only was the plan sour, the execution was practically non-exixtent. Making matters worse, the playcalling process was painstakingly slow, almost to the extent where opposing defenses knew the plays before they were called. McAdoo will change all of that. His system is uptempo and more of an attack style. The plays will be called quicker, the execution will be sharper and the wagon won’t seem so wobbly. His relationship with QB Eli Manning will be integral to the team’s success. Thus far, it’s going well. Eli will also have a more qualified voice in his ear in new QB coach Danny Langsdorf.
DE Damontre Moore – I’ve given up placing my chips on JPP and Mathias Kiwanuka to buoy the Giants’ pass rush. If the Giants are to get the QB this season, it will be behind Moore’s efforts. He is a natural playmaker on defense and – if healthy – should mature into a quality passrusher for the Blue. He is fun to watch, and I urge you all to do so this summer.
LB Jon Beason – His return to health is more important than most are admitting. In less than one full season, Beason had become the face and voice of the Giants’ defense. He calls the signals, gets everyone lined up and makes mucho tackles in the process. Without him, they lose intelligence as well as production. A foot injury is an unpredictable thing. If he makes it back for the season, just hope its not too early to the point where he’s either ineffective or re-injures himself. In his place will be another veteran, Jameel McClain (who has a SB ring), but he’s not Jon Beason.
WR Rueben Randle – Entering his third season, Randle is expected to solidify his status and become a weapon on the outside. If he can do that, Victor Cruz will be allowed to man the slot more often and return to being a game-changing force. With the addition of Odell Beckham, Jr the Giants could end up with tone of the best WR corps in the league by year’s end.
CB Walter Thurmond – We already know the pedigree of Prince and DRC. They were first-round picks who were expected to succeed in the NFL. Thurmond was a hood ornament on Seattle’s Legion of Boom last season and is determined to prove that he’s as good as any corner in the league. He’s already stated publicly that he’s the best slot corner in the NFL, so if his statement becomes a self-fufulling prophecy, the Giants’ secondary will be as solid as any.
Those are my five. Let’s hear yours…